Monday, 28 September 2009

Stupid Finds Me

So I'm out picking up dinner tonight ( because I missed Rachel Ray today and didnt know what to whip up),

and I'm having a hard time understanding the nice girl behind the counter at the Chinese take out joint.

All I could hear, was "walla mulla harbinga googamunga sauce?"

I said "excuse me?"

And she said (louder) "walla mulla harbinga googamunga SAUCE?"

To which I responded (louder) "what KIND of sauce?"

She, all exasperated, says ""walla mulla KIND OF SAUCE?!"

"Ooooooooh, SAUCE" I say.

"Yeah, give me some".

With a disgusted look, she takes about 400 assorted packets of some kind of sauce or other, and flings them in my bag like I had a gun pointed at her head.

"You get ALL sauces"

Oh sure, THAT she can pronounce perfectly.

And I am left there to assume its MY fault, that I dont speak whateverrthehell it was she was speaking.

Stupid finds me.

Like whan I'm driving.

I used to actually believe alien mother ships were hovering overhead, folowing me just so that around the next blind curve, they could beam a blue haired steering wheel death clutching left turn signal on for 10 miles alien driven 20 mph BELOW the speed limit fake automobile, JUST TO PISS ME OFF!

All for cosmic yuks, I believed.

It happened way too frequently to be just coincidence.

Twice in the past year, in a construction zone on I-81 up near Scran-un, one of those alien driven fake automobiles STOPPED on the interstate, just so another Alien driven fake automobile could merge with 60 Mph traffic on the (just seconds before) flowing interstate.

Now to those of you who drive hondas or suburus, that may not be much of an issue, providing you dont have your head and/or heart deeply involved in text messaging or something.

But when you are driving a less than late model large truck towing more weight than you actually should be, it gets pretty interesting.

Stupid finds me.

Like when I'm out walking with my kids on a beautiful fall day on our way to a mushroom hunt.

While walking on a curvy country road, a car comes dangerously close to me (on the edge of the road) and my kids, who were off the road.

He zips by, I raise my hands up over my head, and yell "what the hell, IDIOT!?"

So up backs the near miss vehicle, and the guys says "you got a problem?"

"Oh goodie, a tough guy", I reply.

"No, I dont have a problem, YOU almost hit us, is the problem".

Then I notice the cage bettween the front and back seat, the police looking radio in the dash, and the gun on his hip.

He said "I didnt come close to you"

To WHICH, (not getting the gravity of challenging barney fife yet) I respond "no, it was the OTHER idiot driven maroon car that almost hit me".

"I didnt almost hit you, and I'm a police officer".

"Oh, that changes everything", I said. "Troopers and Grand Sultans of Oz get to run people over, I forgot"............

But wait, it gets better.

He asks my name, and I said "for what, the insurance claim to have the frickin (cept I didnt say frickin. Yeah, I know, in front of the kids and all) denim threads removed from your goddam bumper!?"

To which, barney the nascar wannabe said "Oh thats fine language around your kids..."

But wait, it gets better.

I said

"Oh, I suppose I should have said gosh almighty that nice police man ran over my foot...!?!?"

He put it in drive, and drove on, realizing I assume that stupid has returned the favor.

Stupid finds me, sometimes wearing uniforms.

So I'm deer hunting in the Poconos, and my vehicle is parked along the highway, like 50 others.

At the end of the (yet another) fruitless day, I emerge from the woods, and stand where my car should be.

I turn around, look at the tracks in the snow that tell me I walked in here, looked at the tire tracks in the snow that tell me my vehicle USED to be here..................

and say "Frick".

Thats one of thos monents you cant quite prepare for, and it just begs for a response.

"frick" was the best I could come up with.

December, dark, in the poconos, and miles from anywhere.

So I start walking.

A few miles into it, some fool decided it was a GOOD idea to pick up a lone man walking along the highway, at night, with a rifle over his shoulder.

Yeah I know, You cant make that up, and Thank God for it.

I get a ride to the state police barracks at the next exit, and I saunter in to report a stolen vehicle.

I start to tell the nice man in uniform behind the (not bullet proof enough for the gun on my shoulder) bullet proof glass, my story, and in walks another man in uniform.

"whats his story?" he asks, and I said "someone stole my car".

The nice man behind the glass tells him what kind it was, and the other (idiot) in uniform laughs and said "oh THAT, I had it towed."

I said "You WHAT?!" What are you RETARDED!? For WHAT!?"

Remember my mood, where I was, what I had to do to get there, and what was slung over my shoulder.

He said "because you cant park along the highway."

"What about the other 50 cars and trucks parked out there!?!?"

"didnt see any".

You're a frickin (again, didnt say frickin) moron".

(this is all true, and its a wonder I'm STILL not in jail).

"oh for THAT, I wont give you a ride to where it was towed", he said.

"Lemme get this straight", I said. "You tow my vehicle because you didnt like.......I dunno, the COLOR, you laugh when I show up to report it stolen, you CHASTISE me for hitchhiking because its illegal, and then you tell me I can walk another 20 miles, because I'm NOT FRICKIN NICE!?!?".

Beyond stupid.

The nice man behind the desk actually made the other idiot go away.

This next part you have to have a wad of tobacco, a couple of beers and a good belly scratch goin on to appreciate.

I can call ducks.

Like they're on a string, I've been told.

That means that I can really sound like a duck when I get the duck call goin'.

Like I said.......You need to be of a certain "mentality"to appreciate that.

Anyways, I'm sitting in my well camoflauged spot, blowing away at the duckies flying over head, when I hear a twig snap behind me.

I stop, then continue blowing again, then I hear a distinctive metal "click".

I stand up and yell "HEY!!!!!!"

And not more than ten feet away, is stupid, with his shotgun pointed right at me and my decoys.

Holy frickin frick.
"Huhuhuhuhuhu. you sounded just like a duck", says Elmer Fudd who almost made me a statistic.
"yeah, a 6 foot two duck with glasses. I make that mistake all the time".

sometimes, stupid has a gun.

whats the moral of this story?

Be prepared, stupid is just around the corner. And he may or may not have a gun.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

What does God do with the money, dad?

Nice pic, huh?
I told everyone all week, that I didnt want to go to THIS game.
I KNEW that Penn State would lose THIS game.
Then, on Friday, my daughter in college in Philly called to tell me that she REALLY wanted to come home, and oh, by the by, she had two tickets for she and I to go to THE game.
You know, the game I didnt want to go to.
So friday, I head on down to Philly, around 6 PM, when everyone else in Philly wants to leave.
Yeah, it was peachy.
Friday Schyukill traffic. 5 hours turns into 7 hours.
Kids, sheesh.
Saturday comes along, and I, we, had this confirmation thingy to go to, for my oldest son.
It was swell, as fine a confirmation ceremony as there ever was.
Afterwards we head back to the ranch where I, not one for chlorine conversations, turned on ESPN, which HAPPENED to be broadcasting from Happy Valley that day.
THAT, was all that my A.D.D. ass needed to blurt out to my daughter, "Lets GO!"
And go we did.
Another 2 1/2 hour (one way) trip this weekend, to see a game I didn't want to see. (see where this is going?)
We drove down to ever happy valley, the rain started about 2/3rds of the way there,
and it didnt stop for the rest of the weekend.
We luckily got a parking spot at the Hub (to all of you who dont know happy valley, its a covered parkade), and on a rainy football saturday, that is like winning the Pa Lottery.
And I mean we were in the right place, at the right time, to the SECOND. We parked, made our burnt offerings to the parking gods, and were on our way.
We walked around downtown, had coffees, watched people and bought ponchos and the usual stuff, and headed up to the stadium, with the rest of the faithful.
I KNEW Penn State would lose this game, but as they say "hope springs eternal".
That, and I told my dear daughter that "we are going to stay till halftime, and then head home.
At least we won't get home at 3 AM". It was my one injection of logic and sanity in the whole mix.
Then we trudged up to the stadium, waited in line (in the rain) for the increased security checks, bought our hot chocolate so we could have new mugs to remind her of this great place for the next year, and headed out to our seats.
Our seats, by the by, were as good as good gets. Better than good. Incredible.
Pouring rain, nighttime, knowing we were going to lose.
As half empty a glass as you could ever hope for, right?
Then we walked out of the ramp, and into the stadum, where a hundred thousand other delusional, enthusiastic fools waved their pom poms and cheered for their team.
At that time, at that place, in that rain, I KNEW, (knowing they were going to lose), that there was NO place on EARTH that I'd rather be.
Not in front of some warm dry tv, to be sure.
I HAD to be here, tonight.
And I was, with my daughter. She wanted to be there even more. Not something you could explain to a non believer.
THAT, was the important part of the evening. The actual game, was incidental.
Age realigns priorities like that.
It was more than fun.
It was magical.
If you haven't been there, in that setting, you wouldn't understand.
Like someone who has never loved. You can't explain to them what its like. If Shakespere can't, you or I surely can't.
Fast forward to 18 hours ago, when everyone was scurrying to get ready for church.
My 10 year old daughter was all upset because she couldn't find her purse.
I said "you don't need your purse for church" (very matter of factly)
To which she responded "but daddy, I want to put some money in the basket......"
To WHICH my 5 year old daughter immediately asked "What does God do with the money daddy?"
Explaining why its magical to drive 2 1/2 hours and sit in a pouring rainstorm to watch your team (which you know is going to lose), is easier to explain to a hypothetical wife who hypothetically wants to understand why you do the things you do......................................
than it is to explain "what does God do with the money, daddy?"
I said "He builds churches with it".
She, the 5 year old, looked at me like I was a fool who enjoyed driving 2 1/2 hours to sit in a rainstorm and watch my team lose, for FUN.
Sharp cookies, kids are.
But thats my answer and I'm stickin to it.
It was Magical, and
God needs it.
Silly as it sounds, its the truth.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Old Broken Toys

"Nobody wants a Charlie in the Box..............."

Funny thing, kids are.
There can be a broken unwanted not-even-said-hi-to-in-a-month toy sitting in the corner, but the minute that another kid picks up that unwanted toy, all hell breaks loose.
You'd think that the unwanted toy was just repainted, dunked in a vat of cholocate syrup and wrapped in 50 dollar bills, the way its now fought over.
2 minutes ago when it was ignored and unwanted, the toy's owner couldn't care less about it.
The minute the toy is wanted by someone else, the kid is all kinds of concerned.
Better still is that the second the owner is sure the other kid isnt interested, the toy goes back to the island of misfits. Back on the shelf to resume being ignored.

Why IS that?
Human nature?
Just general selfishness?

I don't care WHAT kind of junky, beat up, worthless feeling toy it is, if some other kid wants it, its MINE!!! (and nobody else can not play with it, either)
Yes, I phrased that correctly.

My two boys were instructed to clean up their room by their mother recently (like every day), and in case you're interested, the room looks like a SWAT team just did a room clearing exercise in it. Complete with flash bangs, lots of small arms rounds, and a couple of hand grenades thrown in just for good measure.
In short, its a disaster.
So mom finds a BROKEN IN HALF motorcycle toy, about 3 inches long, among the other hundred or so unwanted uncared for items in there.
The very definition of worthless.
Little casey acts like his favorite-est childhood memory inducing toy was just flung in the garbage when mom made it go "clunk" in the can.
End of the world, on a 7 year old scale.
Something lying under his bed, broken inhalf, for God knows how long, yet STILL he is traumatized by it being thrown out. Better yet, hes all kinds of surprised that its getting flung out.
Go figure.
They CLEARLY dont want these things, these toys.
They leave them uncared for, unattended to, just cast aside.
Why the trauma and the grief?

I can't figure this out, and it really has me perplexed.

Yeah I know the old saying, but someone should expand on it, and say "if you DON'T want something, throw it the hell out already".


I used to think "if I have a couple more, I'll surely figure them out".
Now I know better.
Theres NO figuring them out.
Surviving them is the current goal.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Its All Black And White

While lying in bed awake last night, as is the case often times lately, my mind thought of things that seemed less than pleasing.

Everything seemed so dark, so................................DARK.

Then for some A.D.D. reason, I thought of another dark time, in a very dark, cold, black and white place.

It was January or late December or something, and it was cold. Cold and dark, but it was a good kind of cold and dark.

I waded out in the middle of a partially frozen river, to the only open water for miles around, WHICH, would attract ducks and geese, from miles around, was the theory.

I dodged ice floatsoms while navigating my way out to the small, nothing but a bump of gravel slightly above the waters surface, island.

I strategically (um, one here, two there.........) set my decoys, they positioned myself to look like a lump of snow on a gravel hump in the middle of a river, all to kill a duck or two.

Yeah, I know, its not something one spends much time thinking rationally about.

Anyways, while daylight approached (oh, I forgot to mention that I dodged ice flows while wading, in the DARK?),

I noticed something else.

"Man, this is pretty". Could've been the lack of blood flowing to my brain at that point.

No color whatsoever. Black water, with white ice flows spinning and bumping and crashing into each other as they flowed. White snow on the mountains around me, with black leaf less trees standing silently on them.

Black and White.

Laying on a gravel bar of an island gives one an interesting perspective. Kinda like placing ones ear on a railroad track.

The sound of the water flowing, and the ice flows flowing into each other, is one I'll never forget. Grinding, bumping, flowing.

The only color was in the dog's coats, but even they looked like a shade of grayish non-color, instead of the deep chocolate that they were.

No color, black and white.

It was surreal. The wind made a sond as it entered my hood, which added to the experience. So much so, that I failed to hear the 20 or so ducks that just plopped themselves all around my little island.

The dogs started twitching and whimpering as if to be saying,

"godammit dad, we DIDN'T come out here for you to lie there and get all frickin philisophical. SHOOT a goddam duck!!"

I sit up, the ducks say "what the frick!?!?"

They fly, I shoot, the dogs spring into action, and everybody (save for a few ducks) is happy.

Its all so black and white.

I wish everything could be black and white. And the good kind of cold and dark.

Don't you?

My Spot

Sorry, I dont have a picture available of my spot.


Its my favorite spot in pennsylvania, to be sure. Maybe my favorite spot anywhere.

That one will take some thinking.

The number of people I've shown "my spot", you could count on one hand.

Its a public spot, open to all who wish to go there, but not too many people go there, and me and the trout like it that way.

Back when I used to harass the trout on a regular basis, any and all intruders (like 3 a year) would usually put me in a sour mood, at least temporarily.

It was MY spot, after all................

I don't go there much anymore, for a variety of reasons, but even if its once a year the place still feels exactly the same, like I never left.

I didnt go there this year, and tonight, while I was sitting in the spot that actually IS My spot, I thought about my other spot. My REAL spot.
The picture is of my son casey sitting on our patio, which is on a stream, and isnt too bad of a spot in its own right.
Its been a less than perfect month or three, and today it seemed to come to a boil.
I haven't even gotten to sit by my own stream lately, but tonight I did.
And what I did, was nothing in particular, just watch and think.
(heres where it gets boring)
I watched mayflies do what they do, which is go from an underwater creature, to a flying creature, to mating (the good part), and then dying (The yet-to-be-determined-part).
They were doing this way before I owned this place, and they'll be doing it long after I dont own this place.
Just like at My Spot.
Its hard not to feel connected to a spot where you've spent thousands of after dark hours, by one's self, standing in the middle of a large wild river, casting to invisible trout sipping invisible flies off the waters surface.
I feel and felt like just as much a part of that spot as some of the boulders that have been there for milleniums.
I belonged there.
It wasn't about the trout, although each one was a small victory to be sure. None were harmed, save for their dignity perhaps. All were released because they belonged there, just like I did.
My job was to fool them into believing that my fly was the real dinner, and each time I did, they got smarter, and more difficult to fool the next time.
A classic catch 22.
That was my job as part of the spot. To make the trout smarter, and to annoy the beavers who lived there. They would occasionally scare the bejeebus out of me by either bumping into my wading legs, or swimming silently up behind me and slapping their tails just a few feet from me.
THAT, usually got either an audible response from me, or something just this side of cardiac arrest.
Often times both.
I don't know why I thought of My Spot, while sitting on my spot, especially this evening.
Today seemed like a practice run for national crisis week, and tonight, I was just plum exhausted.
I just sat down near the creek to veg out, and then noticed the flies dancing above the water's surface.
I tried to close my eyes, then I realized that the sound of a rushing stream is only half of it, if that. So I took it all in.
No great revelations occured while sitting there, and I'm still tired as hell, but I realized that everything is fine in My Spot.
The trout may be a little dumber than they used to be there, but thats ok too.
And I can see it like I'm there right now.
I imagine sometime soon some other young man/woman will be driving their old jeep around creation, looking for their spot.
They too, will see that pull over along the road no where near the river, but pull over anyways, just because something tells them to.
They will get out of their vehicle, look at the steep path down to where they know the river should be, and maybe say something to themselves like,
"oh what the hell, I'm not made out of crystal..............."
Then when they get to the bottom, and emerge through the last of the underbrush and stand and look at what I first saw, they'll say..........................
"holy frick. I found my spot".
And they'll begin the journey of learning everything about it, one step at a time.
Its a great spot.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Just another day in paradise

With nothing to write about.

I say that a lot when people ask me "hows it going?"

"Just another day in paradise".

Just another day.

One more day.

On the road to what? THAT, is the question. No, I'm not going to get all philisophical and gushy on you.

Not tonight.

I'm just wondering what its all addin up to.

Where its all going.

Its been a rocky, bumpy, trudge-y road thus far, but I cant but hope that its going to level out, to open up, to get to where I want it to get to.

I'm not looking for the Land Of Oz, just somewhere nice.

Somewhere pleasant. Somewhere I WANT to be.

I've got a few ideas as to how to get there, (wherever that is), but they seem like pipe dreams at this point.

So here I sit tonight, after yet another uneventful day, wondering if life is just one uneventful day after another.

To be trugded through, to get to the end.

Nah. Thats idiotic.

thats how most people seem to view it.

I don't give a rats ass how most people do it. Nor, have I decided, do I care what they think of how I do it.

They can take pleasure in my decisions, and add some spark to their trudge filled day discussing me and my decisions.

Gee, that souonds narcisissistic, doesn't it?


Dont care about that, either.

Life is indeed too damn short.

And there are no "Best Trudger" medals to be handed out at the end, either.

I've been trudging through paradise for the better part of the past 25 years, and I think, I've had a bellyfull.
Tonight, I saw the emergency vehicles pull up to an elderly neighbor's house.
Tonight, I wonder what happened at "Tony's" house. Whether it was him, or his wife who was gurneyed away in an ambulance.
Tony, as I have learned, was no trudger.
He was a "hell raiser" when he was a youngster, as told by another neighbor, on numerous occasions.
Lately however, he was a trudger's trudger. Old age will do that to you.
Tony is/was of old age. Hell raising youth notwithstanding, he was just an old guy who went through the motions of his latter days, with a smile.
I dont want to be remembered as anything but "a content guy".
I know, I know, take a number.
And very few people would categorize me as "happy and/or contented".
At this point, anyways.

Are you trudging?

Do you believe we are supposed to?

Generations have believed that, y'know.

This isnt some mid life crisis, in case you're wondering.

Its a mid life lane change.

Road change.

Route change.

I've got half a life left, and if you think I want to trudge through IT like the past seemingly endless years, youre as nuts as I am.

If you're lucky, I wont knock on your door and say "c'mon, lets get the hell outta here..."

ooooooooooooh, you looked at the door with that comment, didntcha?


You GET what I'm talking about.

Well, gotta go now. Gotta get some sleep so I can trudge through another day in paradise, tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Life and Death at the County Fair............

"At least I'm not THAT guy", I thought.................

He probably sat in his seat saying the exact same thing about everybody he saw. About everybody he taunted while he sat there.

And that laugh.

It must be the same guy thats been there for years, because the odds of two people having the same laugh, doing that job, I imagine are pretty big.

Well, THREE people.

5 or 6 or 8 years ago, I had a coworker who had the same exact laugh. So much so, that another coworker nicknamed him "dunktank", because of the similarity in the laughs. "Dunktank" is in reference to the clown who sits over a tank of water, and taunts fairgoers to (buy, and) throw balls at the target in an attempt to get him dunked.

I remembered that laugh, and I remembered that coworker.

Hes in prison now on two murder charges, in connection with a very famous case.

It was a loud laugh, an infectious laugh, almost a forced laugh, but it wasnt. He was the type of guy to laugh at everything.

Not so much anymore, I'd guess.

As far as I knew him, he was a nice guy. Friendly as hell, and I bet if the company were to cast a secret ballot then, as to which coworker would be where he is today, I'd have gotten more votes than he would've.

I'm not exactly a social butterfly at work, y'know. Not like I'm rude, but there are people who HAVE to store beer in the trunk so they can have one before they get home, and there are people who do not.

Even on the worst days (and their name is legion), I can wait.


I dont remember anything bad about him, but then again, you can spend more time then 10 or 12 hours a day, for 6 days a week, and STILL not know someone, y'know?

Sometimes, it takes something more. You know, like a murder charge to light up the lightbulb over your head.

Or something.

So I'm walking around our county fair, and I hear this laugh.

My first thought is "holy cow that guy is STILL at it".

And then I thought of the nicknamed guy. He's still where he is too.

Always will be.

At least I'm not THAT guy.

Either of them.

I started to wonder about each, both of them and their lives.

Whats it like to travel around and do THAT, for years on end? Man thats gotta suck times a thousand.

At least people compliment my work or slip me a hundred bucks as a tip every once in a while.

THAT guy gets the finger for doing his job, and thats AFTER he gets dunked.

Sheesh, I bet HE keeps a cooler of beer in his trunk.

I wonder what its like for dunktank in prison?

I wonder how a happy go lucky type survives in there?

God he must feel lonely.

I wonder if I should visit him?

Yeah thats it. Start my workplace social networking in the state prison.

I dunno.

At least I'm not that guy.

Its gotta be one of the lonliest places on earth.

One of.

Like a county fair.

Friday, 11 September 2009

9-11, take out pizza, and talk radio

Ive "tuned out" lately, in case you haven't noticed.

I mean, I've REALLY tuned out, of the world around me, for a variety or reasons.

Burn out, frustration at the level of incompetency and idiocy and duplicity in the world..............maybe a combination of the three and a lot more.

For whatever reason, I dont read papers, watch news, listen to news, go to my usual news filled websites (that I have determined to be the BEST).


So today is 9-11. The aniversary of the day..............well, you know.

I overheard someone tell someone else today "I didnt realize it was 9-11..."


That part, I didnt forget. No one can tune out that much.

After a usually blissful day at work, I went out for some pizza with the gang.

And by gang, I mean a carload of kids.

While waiting for our order to be filled, I was treated via the pizza joint radio to a local talk radio buffoon that I tuned out long before I tuned out.

His name is steve corbett, and he is as clueless, and as embarrassing as they come.

Embarassing to the area, to thinking individuals everywhere, and to his employers.

But wait, theres more.

His callers, are a notch or 12 below him, and today, they were inspired to show how much they didnt know, and on the air, to boot.

So I'm standing in a typical pizza joint, waiting like all the other good folk for the pizza to be cooked. We're all forced to listen to the pizza joint radio and one after another after another local "got-it-all-figgred-outters" call in like they're going to get compensated for being the most inane caller of the day.

They all win.

There are the usual Rosie ODonnel types, you know, the "truthers" who believe the CIA did it all.

There are the "educated" types, who after reading "the entire 9-11 commission report, have ALL the answers...."

And there are the reformed new religious types, who believe that peace and harmony will conquor all"..............

I actually laughed out loud at two particullary idiotic comments while waiting, and got less than approved reactions from the other waiters in line, I might add.

One fool, actually said on air, that he "couldnt believe that any human being could actually believe that another human being would WILLFULLY fly a jet into a building, and kill other human beings....." and he said it like he was enlightened.

I suppose its easier to believe that EVIL U.S. government employees could plant explosives and blow up said buildings, easier than Radical Muslims could fly a jet into it, I dunno. It was nothing short of painful to hear it all, that much I do know. I couldnt help saying outloud "ever heard of KAMIKAZIES, you goddammed fool?"
My seemingly witty response was left hanging there in the pizza smell filled air.

Why do I write this now?

I dont know. Maybe because its something that has to be written today. On an anniversery of our stupidity, and our resistance to be anything but.

We're a hundred times as stupid as we were on 9-10-01. We havent even come to an agreement on what kind of building to rebuild there, some 8 years later.

We believe that by making nice policies with people who would do such a thing, that we could get them to realize that flying 767's into office buildings, is an unreasonable option.

THAT, is where we are today.

And worse, that is who is leading our nation, today.

And everybody wonders why I tuned out.

Everybody wonders whats wrong with Ted.

Like I said a billion times in my life,

"It aint me, Lord, it aint me.

Its the rest of the pack of idiots you stuck me here with."

Like the local talk radio buffoons.

Like the buffoons heading our country these days. Like the buffoons who are considered experts in the world of news, and world events.
I wouldnt allow any of them to watch my kids, let alone by back.

I've "tuned out" because quite honestly I believe its all over save for the next big white flash.

I've tuned out,because after two wars and more info than any reasonable individual would ever need to be truly informed, we are still, and MORESO dumber than a box of rocks, as a nation.
Don't believe me? Listen to Corbett.
Go talk to an ex-favorite relative who believes that "getting healthcare for everyone who needs it is worth whatever sacrifices we need to make as a whole."
Cant fix stupid, like you cant fix being short.

Whats MY solution, you say?
Yeah thats it.
Anyone who knows me knows what Ive been saying for the past 5 or more years.

Nobody listened, and they're still not.

My solution is to stick the I Pod things in your ears, and tune out.

Like me.

Difference is, when the big white flash DOES occur, I know what to do.

You could just come to my house, I suppose, and start listening then.

Better late than never.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Real Men Don't buy Wine

Or so they tell me.
Me? I'm not so closed minded. Of course, I also happen to love red wine.

Funny thing, that label "real man".
Sensitive guys like myself (see photo) spend our days doing sensitive stuff, like getting in touch with our feelings and discussing clothing color schemes and such.
You know, "no red with orange".................... stuff like that.
I guess its all part and parcel of the wine drinking thing.

I can remember blasting the shit out of stuff with a machine gun after jumping out of the helicopter thinking, "gee whiz, I hope I dont break a nail or something on this mission". No, I did. It was all rainy and muddy and icky, and it was bad enough getting gross dirt under my nails, but if they got chipped, how would I EVER show myself at the office the next day??!!
Sheese, talk about pressure.
We real men have an image to uphold, y'know.

Its one tight balancing act pulling off the whole thing, let me tell you.
One minute we have to know.......EVERYTHING, and the next, we're supposed to switch gears to dragon slaying mode, and slay the damn dragon, to boot.
And now I find out, do it without admitting to liking wine.*

Like I said, funny thing about that label "real man".
Some of us don't care. Some of us want to be considered as such. Some of us worry about who thinks what in regards to it all..........

Me? I'm just sitting in my man room, drinking wine, trying to decide the definition of a good man, not a real man.
I've done enough manly stuff for fun and profit to feel comfortable with all that crapola. Theres more important issues to work out.
Issues that as I live and watch, it seems everybody struggles with.

This journey isnt easy, is it?
No, not for anyone, it seems.

And I'm watching people who dont realize they're being watched, or noticed, is maybe a better term.
No, not staring and stalking kind of watching, but noticing. Everyone. Ask the guy who muttered "real men don't buy wine...", he'll tell ya.
Like check out people, or people you meet at a yard sale.
You know, for a few seconds or minutes. Its amazing what you can pick up, if you keep your eyes open.

I see a lot of people differently than I once did.
Some much better than originally, some, not so much.

Live and learn.

Yeah, sage advice, I know. Like telling a baseball batter to "hit em where they ain't".
"learn" is the critical word in that phrase.

I dont have any answers either, but I'm noticing that no one does, and thats my point.
I used to think I did, but now know better.
I'm twice as lost as you.

but I'm learning.

* (note to wine hater: most philosophies need to be adjusted. Trust me on this one, you're all wrong)

Monday, 7 September 2009

chicken wing magic

Ive already written about the magic of chicken soup, and if you didnt read it, start backpeddling.

In case you havent noticed, Ive been whining like a notre dame fan about "strength of schedule" points, regarding my life lately.

Nothing specific, really.

My boss is nuts, the clients are nuts, my wife is nuts, and oh yeah, I'm nuts too.

Other than that, its all good.

The kids arent nuts though.

They know EXACTLY what they're doing, and ITS all bad, and on purpose.

Other than THAT, its all good.

So I'm trudging through another day in paradise, with little but memories of weekend ice cream to cheer me up, and then I get a call.

My college aged daughter, whom I havent seen in a month or two, is home for a visit.

After passing out the usual scoldings, beatings, and frownations upon coming home, I shower up and ask my visiting oldest if shed like to go for a ride with me. Shes been with the little kids for an hour at least, so naturally she says "SURE!"

So she accompanies me to the luxurious barber shop where she is treated to a fascinating exchange of talk of weather, deer antlers, and work.

Then its gets good.

After getting my (distinguished with just the right amount of gray) hair cut, we go out for wings.

Nothing extravagent, just wings and beer.

Sounds like a date night on the country channel, huh?

Its not that we or she solved the problems of the day, or the universe, its that it was different, that it was good. That it was nice.

Nice is nice, I've already written that.

Its like a well timed hug. Not going to change the universe's direction, but it sure is welcome at the right time.

Just enough to change your outlook, your view, your disposition, even your despondency.

I suppose you could classify it as a "little thing" of life. Something to appreciate, something to remember.

The wings are almost always good, but who you have them with makes all the difference.

Like a campfire.

I cant imagine that as a parent I'm the only one, who while sitting across a table from an (almost) grown up child, the mind races from babyhood to beer and boyfriend talk, in every conversation.

Maybe I am. Maybe its the whole adult A.D.D. thing going on.

Lucky me.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

These are a few of my favorite things............

My eyes well up as the blue band drum corp plays their special little ditty just before they take the field every game.

Every morning I'm hunting, when the darkness wanes and daylight first makes its presence known, when shapes begin to form, and the forest awakens.

Being thought of as more than I think I am.

Good Red Wine.

Good conversation.

Silence, unless I'm looking for good conversation.

Choosing the right fly, and making the right cast, at the right time.

Everything that leads up to making that cast.

A really good book.

Handing that book off to someone I know will appreciate it.

Ice Hockey.

Making Love, as opposed to having sex.

Clear, crisp, starry nights.

Creaky wooden screen doors.

Stories of the "old days".

Standing in a river and feeling the water flow through me.

For hours.

Frank Sinatra music.

The SMELL, of autumn.

When the child who never says "I love you dad" says it.

Saying it back.

I like fireworks.

Getting a good picture of something.

Knowing what my dogs were thinking and trying to tell me.

Knowing how to tell them what I was trying to say.

Puppy breath.

A good cigar.

Having someone say "yeah, I'd like to have a beer and talk to you...."

I LOVE women, because I love to talk to them. I dont care about cars, or money, or poker, but I love to talk about flowers and ideas and emotions and such. I havent found too many guys yet who were willing to be as silly as me.

I love guns, too, but could give a rats ass about how they work. I like them to work, and I LOVE to shoot, but beyond that, who cares.
Shoot em, clean em, put em back together till the next time.

Its all "chlorine" talk when it gets down to mechanics and ballistic coefficients and such.

I dont need to know why the car can go fast, just like I dont need to know why the bullet hits the target. I just like it to, and like being able to make it do so.

There are more important things to worry about, is how I view it. Let the pot bellied guy with the half eaten stogie worry about making it work. I just want it to. We all have our roles to fill.

Above all, I like being loved.

There is nothing else, really.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

I yuse-ta be a mason y'know...........

I imagine I'll be saying that to some whipper snapper someday.

Can't imagine that it'll be after I'm a recovering addict, weighing 300+ lbs, standing in the doorway wearing bermuda shorts and a 3 sizes too small t-shirt, however. But you never know.

Saying it to someone OLDER than me, to boot.

While HE is doing work for me that a third party is paying for, I might add.

"So howcome you're using these stupid stones instead of stamped concrete?" He asked me.

I said "have you ever seen stamped concrete? Its supposed to BE this stuff.

This, is what you call the real deal."

"I like concrete" he said.

"gee, big revelation there" I thought, but for a change held that one in.

"See those brick steps out front?" he asked me.

I said "you mean the Dr Seuss ones?"

"huh? No, the BRICK ones"...................

"nevermind, yeah, I saw em".

"Well, (he boasted) I MADE em. In 10th grade. I took masonry in school. At the VO tech."

"You peaked early", I said.

"Yeah, thanks".

Some people will complain no matter what, I suppose. Get a (many) thousand dollars worth of home improvements for free, and all you can say is that the noise is making it difficult to watch Jerry Springer inside.

Here, you can use my dust mask to cry in..............

In case you haven't noticed, I'm cranky tonight.

Don't know why, but maybe you can use it to your advantage.

Maybe seeing THAT guy wanting EVERYTHING, made me think about ME wanting Everything.

Here's a (whatever kind of) addict, no job, free house, free everything, complaining about getting the absolute BEST possible type of stonework available. Doesn't add up, nor does it sit well.

We all complain, and find enough to complain about rather easily, but this guy HAS to stay up late at night to find things to complain about.

"yeah, THATS it, I want my lazy hazy crazy days of summer to be construction free, so I can go to the clinic every day, and NOT have to step over icky men doing icky work, with icky tools all over the place...........................and I want CONCRETE!!"

Yeah, I CAN be kinda cynical when I want to, huh?

Everybody wants it all, myself included. Human nature, I suppose. Except for the drone types, who either dont know any better, or......................well.......................don't know any better. They're happy to "settle".

Maybe the guy who I talked to today has dreams too.

Maybe he wants to be a mason again (but after watching me for a week or two, I think thats doubtful). Who knows what his dreams are.

Do YOU have dreams?

I did. Do, actually. They won't go away. Theres only one thing I want to do, and its everything. It just won't go away. Hasn't for a lot of years now. The first time I realized it, I said "thats IT", and it hasn't ever stopped being "it".

I wrote about Frank McCourt in an earlier post, and suprisingly enough to me when I found out, his writing career didn't start until he retired from his day job, which was a teacher in the New York City Public schools. His career that got him a Pulitzer, started after he retired.
THAT, is inspiration to me. Its never too late, is what it says to me. Never give up.

So I figure either I haven't learned everything I need to learn doing what it is I'm currently doing, or this, is it.

I gotta go with A, because if its B, then I might end up hitching a ride to the methadone clinic with the ex-mason. Or worse.

Whats your dream?

You have one. Even if you don't know what it is. It may be buried, or it may be deadened by life and what has made you feel numb for a long time. Bring it back to life.

Get quiet, and listen inside. You'll know what it is.

It may surprise you when you find out, but its there.

If I can believe in me, I can believe in you, too.

Don't give up.

Don't never ever give up on your dream.

Its Everything.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009


I used to be a fan of the tv show 24. It used to be good, before they got all politically correct, and made every terrorist hell bent on destroying the united states, anything BUT Islamic extremists.

Now, its a green celebration of politically correct idocy, with stars like jeanine garrafalo (dont care that I spelled her name wrong, shes an idiot)

So 5 or so years ago, after watching this GREAT tv show every week religiously, it was the day of the season finalle, a 2 hour shoot em up and kill all the dammed Islamic terrorists television extravaganza.

Before I made popcorn and put on my special ops pajamas to settle in for a serious night of tv watching, I decided to go down by the "crick" and burn some boxes.

I started to burn the boxes in the fire ring, and noticed some people walking upstream, on the other side of the creek.

I went to the water's edge, and said to them "I'm sorry, but this is private property and you cant come......................."

So there's 4 of them.

The oldest of the 4 was about 40, and the other 3 were 20ish.

The oldest was wearing khaki pants and pennyloafer shoes, and he martches right through the stream to my side, and sticks out his hand and says

"Hi, I'm Tony and we just want to walk through and fish here...."

Really friendly. Caught me off guard friendly.

They all had fishing poles. Deep sea fishing poles, but they had fishing poles.

One guy carried a white plastic garbage bag, one carried a large cooler, and the others had just fishing poles.

None of the poles were "rigged", that is to say the string wasnt run throught the poles' eyes, nor were any of the poles equipped with hooks or anything else to catch fish with.

The men were all dark skinned, like say......................Lebanese dark, not Etheopian dark. All had very short, very dark hair.

They also spoke a language I didnt know, while speaking amongst themselves, but I think I recognized a few russian words in there. Not sure.

Anyways, "Tony" the apparent leader and speaker ot the group, was as friendly as friendly gets.

He said "We're from some shit-hole of a town near philly, and we're up here to fish".

I asked them where they parked, and they told me about a half mile downstream.

I asked them where they were headed, and Tony said "just up that way". I said that there wasnt anything "up that way" for over a mile, but he just smiled and said "thats ok". Now it was 7 pm or so, and to be that far from your vehicle, going in a dierction that didnt lead anywhere, didnt add up in a big kinda way.

One of the men pointed out my St. Francis statue in the landscaping to one of the other men, and in his gesture, it didnt appear to be in a complimentary kind of way.

It didnt set in, until after events played out.

When my wife holding my then newest baby came down the steps to the patio, one of the younger men said to Tony "hey tony, we gotta go".

And they started walking upstream.

I said to them as they walked up, "hey, watch out for rattlesnakes, they're here, and I kill em all the time around here. (kids and all. SCREW poisionous snakes when the kids are present)

Anyways, Tony didnt miss a beat, said thanks and smiled and waved bye bye.

I walked back up to the house, and something just didnt add up. I started to replay what I just witnessed, and started to notice things I missed at first.

So I called the state police in shickshinny. (first mistake)

I told them what I witnessed, and why I thought it was suspicious, and they said "those guys were stopped by a trooper from the wyoming barracks, and they had fishing licenses and checked out. If you see anything else, give us a".


So I called Wyoming barracks, and told THEM what I saw and thought about it all.

Some female phone answerer told me pretty much the same thing the shickshinny barracks person did, but at least she thanked me.

She hung up too.

DAMN DAMN! THis isnt RIGHT!" I thought.

So taking matters (and my favorite .45 caliber handgun) I decided to run upstream to see just what the hell they were up to. I went through a neighbor's field, and got to a point high above the creek where I could see them if they came through. They didnt, and it started to get dark. So I headed back to the house, and just as I was coming out of the woods, I saw a black suburban pull up on the bridge. A "guy" got out, walked down to the water's edge with a box, and looked up and downstream, and then got back in the suburban.

THAT, really didn't add up.

So I walked up to the house, all kinds of frustrated with the state police's inability to recognize me as a bonafide terrorist watcher...........................

Then the phone rang.

It was the trooper who pulled the guys over earlier in the day, and he asked me to tell him everything I saw.

So I did, and then he said "tell me again".

After I told him a second time, he said "hang on, I'm going to connect you with someone"..... and another phone rang, and then someone answered and said "homeland security".

This guy also wanted to hear everything. Twice.

After I told him everything (twice), he asked me, "what do YOU think they were doing?"

I said I was a fisherman who traveled a LOT to fish, and from what I saw, these guys were definitely NOT fisherman. I also said I was in the military, and we used to practice (and practice) missions under conditions that would best resemble the theoretical mission.

I ALSO mentioned that there is a water filtration plant for over 50,000 people directly Up Da Crick, from my house, and if you just walked up the creek, you'd run right into it.

He said "Up until the part where you told them there were poisionous snakes, I thought they were just some goofy guys from philly going fishing. When you told me the part about the snakes, it became different.

I'll be right there".

Meanwhile, I was missing the season finale of 24, but hell, I had my own little 24 going on right here.

In a little while, we had very low, very slow flying helicopters buzzing overhead.

Never found anything, or anyone.

A week or so later, I received a phone call requesting me to identify the four guys on a video tape where they bought the fishing stuff.

Not a problem.

Right place, right time. Burning boxes by Da crick.

I talked to the homeland security guy once after that, when my wife noticed another black suburban stop on the bridge near our property, and two guys got out and without expression or acknowledging her standing 30 feet from them. The guys both looked and pointed upstream, and talked quietly amongst themselves, then left.

Fast forward a month or two at a family party or something, when I got to recount this story to (as luck would have it), a high up muckity muck from the water company.

I told HIM the story, and he turned white as a sheet.

He said he heard nothing of it, and I asked him " what kind of security is on the water treatment plant"?

He said "the door has a lock"

Hence the white as a sheet response.

Not very encouraging. On many fronts.

So My intuitions (albeit a little slow) were dead nuts on. The state police and homeland security thought as I did. Gee, imagine that. Took em a while, but they came around.

Problem is, the water treatment plant is being protected by Joe the cleaning guy.

"Hey, whaddya doin IN there!?"

"Uh.......nuttin...we just checking pipes is all...................."

"oh, okey-dokey then........Light turn off by themselves at 9, so wrap it up.........................".

Not so much.
Hey, at least I'M on the job...................................
Nice photo, heyna or no?